Alannah: dental assistant, Melbourne
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Alannah: dental assistant, Melbourne

Help & advice

Alannah O 

Dental as anything

Dental assistant Alannah O’Sullivan admits she felt woozy the first time she assisted on a tooth extraction, but she says nothing fazes her now.

“The grosser the better!” she laughs. “I like the satisfaction when there’s a really good plaque build-up and you help the dentist clean it and it looks amazing afterwards.”

Alannah says a good dental assistant needs patience and empathy and must be good with their hands, methodical and clean.

“You’re there to hand over the instruments, handle the suction hose, mix all the parts for the fillings, and clean and sterilise all the instruments.”

Alannah trained in New Zealand but her training was similar to the training dental assistants do here.

“You learn all the instruments and procedures, the parts of the mouth, the internal structure of the teeth - even how to develop X-rays.”

Alannah says being a dental assistant has been the perfect job for her as she wanted something hands-on that would enable her to travel. Since coming to Australia seven years ago, she has been a temporary worker for three years and had two full-time jobs.

“There’s such a shortage of dental assistants, so temping’s a great way to have flexible hours, good pay and variation in your work. There are countless jobs in the paper for full-time jobs as well.”

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Dental Assistant

Prepares patients for dental examination and assists Dental Practitioners, Hygie...

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